I’m not one of those easily-triggered types who think every time a man says something chauvinistic he is automatically a misogynist.
He might be an ignorant “pig,” with no sense of refinement. He might be a young man barely blossoming into what he thinks is appropriate talk among “the boys,” or he might be just trying to get a reaction by seeing how far they push the envelope. The latter, by the way, is part of an endangered group called “stand-up comics.” They were pretty common when more people had a sense of humor.
I worked in a comedy club on the weekends, and hung around a weird eclectic mix of ultra-conservative cowboys during my class time, and anything goes mega liberals while working for college radio stations. I learned to take most comments others would find offensive with a grain of salt. If someone was an idiot, being offended by their comment wasn’t worth my time.
Yet, I knew a true misogynist in college, and he was beyond horrible. He had a genuine disdain for all women, and felt they were good for nothing but to do the bidding of men, in bed or otherwise. He wouldn’t even talk to a woman, unless it was to insult her or order her around, and I didn’t know anyone, men or women, who actually found him likeable.
He also uttered one of the only comments about women that I found genuinely disgusting.
“Females are useless,” he said. “The only reason for their existence is to be a support system for a vagina.”
Even if this was a joke, and for him it wasn't, it was pretty demeaning and, in my opinion, blatantly untrue.
Unfortunately, I’ve been seeing more and more of what I assume are well-intended women working very, very hard to prove him right. I have seen feminists dressed up like vaginas protesting everything from "period shaming" to pay wage gaps.
There are “vaginal” book clubs that have nothing to do with vaginas. There are craft projects, interpretive art and exhibitions centered around menstruating…because it’s so much fun to talk about!
One feminist icon who already gets too much press time, even recently came up with a line of vagina-themed jewelry. Hey, the gift-giving season is approaching, after all. Don’t forget the good old “The Vagina Monologues.” Wheee!
I understand that this is done in an attempt to “take the word back,” or bring awareness to women's issues. If men can talk about their genitals, so can we! Hence, everything in feminist circles gets dubbed "Vaginal."
I can’t speak for men, but I would guess they already realize talking about their male parts is stupid. However, they also feel “stupid” can be funny.
I do know men who have genuine class would rather not hear or see women talk so candidly about theirs…at least not out in the open shouting about them with full-color visual accompaniments. Not blabbing on incessantly about our nether regions is what made us seem smarter.
Remember that ad campaign in the past presidential election urging women to vote with their “lady parts?” All this did for me was give me a nightmarish visual of the unsanitary misuse of voting equipment.
Lady parts? Well, I vote with my heart, soul and conscience that give me my values. I vote with my brain that allows me to research and learn about the issues I care about. I vote with my hands, that are often tired from the work it takes to help raise my family.
I can’t help thinking of that disgusting reptile from my college days when I see so-called “empowered” women parading around their privates, somehow thinking walking around naked or topless will teach men like him a lesson.
I can’t help thinking of him, when I hear about yet another vagina-centric art exhibit, poetry slam or lecture series.
I can’t help thinking of this man, and seeing him smirk with a disgustingly smug raised eyebrow, declaring to anyone who would listen:
“See? I was completely right.”